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World Leaders Mark 75th Anniversary of D-Day Invasion; Trump: We've Told Mexico the Tariffs Go On. Aired 5-5:30a ET
Aired June 6, 2019 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[04:58:25] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This hour, President Trump will speak at the 75th commemoration of D-Day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leaders are gathered here because they want to take advantage of the living memory of veterans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The key symbolic moment, a reminder of what they went through on behalf of all of us.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDNET OF THE UNITED STATES: We told Mexico the tariffs go on, and I mean it, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans speaking up loud and clear hoping to send the message to President Trump, don't do this.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): I understand that the president is frustrated. That being said, this is the wrong solution.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and truly all around the world. This is a special edition of NEW DAY. It's Thursday, June 6th, 5:00 here in the East, 11:00 in Normandy in France.
Seventy-five years ago at this very moment, the beaches of Normandy were filled with allied forces and as General Eisenhower wrote that day, they were carrying the hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere.
By this point on that morning, hundreds if not thousands had already died in battle. Some who landed that day, they are back among these people you're looking at this morning and we honor all of them.
In just moments, President Trump will take the stage at this D-Day commemoration. And will be joined by the French President Emmanuel Macron, and outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Twelve thousand people are expected at this solemn ceremony at Normandy. This is the American Cemetery and Memorial, and when you see the crosses -- well, it takes your breath away.
[05:00:02] Among the attendees, 173 American World War II veterans. The Allied landings there, 75 years ago for the largest amphibious military invasion in history. The bloodiest fighting taking place in Omaha Beach and that's where some 9,300 men are buried beneath those rows there of white headstones.
BERMAN: American territory overlooking those cliffs.
Joining us now to commemorate this remarkable day: Jim Bittermann, senior international correspondent, Melissa Bell, CNN international correspondent, and Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent.
Jim, you are there. I can see it behind you. I know this is a meaningful day for you as it is for everybody. Give us a sense of what we are seeing and what we will see.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John and Alisyn, good morning.
I mean, it's a chilling sight to be on the ground. This is sacred ground for the United States, and our allies during World War II. Some 9,000 burials here at the American Military Cemetery here in Normandy. And the president just touched down on Marine One a few moments ago with the first lady. He'll join the French President Emmanuel Macron to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and will be paying tribute obviously to the fallen who helped save the world 75 years ago.
But at the same time, John and Alisyn, we're starting to get some signs of what the president will be talking about in his upcoming remarks. They have released some excerpts over at the White House, and at one point, he's expected to say, of course, we don't always expect the president to stay on his prepared remarks. But in these prepared remarks, he's expected to talk about the cherished alliance the United States has with its allied partners in World War II.
That sounds as though the president is trying to tip his hat to the NATO alliance to some extent, and I think that will be pretty striking for people to hear on the beaches of Normandy here at the American Military Cemetery in Normandy, considering the fact, John, and Alisyn, that the president has been critical of the NATO alliance for years now since he was a candidate on the campaign trail in 2016. He's talked about how he's wanted to see NATO partners contribute more of their GDP to defense spending.
So, the common defense would be stronger. The president has defended that posture time and again, but that kind of rhetoric has rattled, you know, U.S. partners and allies over here in Europe to a large extent and that frostiness continues to this day where the president is deeply unpopular in places like France and Britain and so on, but I think John and Alisyn, this is one of those days, politics is set aside to a large extent so the president of the United States, president of France, can commemorate bravery 75 years ago that literally saved the world, I should say, from the darkness of Nazi forces that were spread across Europe, and really poised for a global conquest.
And so what we expect to hear from the president just a short while from now is really paying respect, paying tribute to that alliance, and I think that may to a large extent send a message around the world that the president is coming around and warming up to those NATO alliance.
One other thing I will point out, John and Alisyn, there are other dignitaries here. I had a chance to catch up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She's on the scene here as well. I asked what she expects to hear from the president, what she thinks on this 75th anniversary of D-Day. She made it very clear she did not want to criticize the president on foreign soil but she said that this day also reminds her of the importance of the NATO alliance and why it should remain strong -- John and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Jim Bittermann, the president and first lady will be on stage with President Macron and Mrs. Macron, and, you know, it's always interesting back here to watch their interactions. They have had some up and downs and so what are we expect to go see on the world stage -- expecting to see on the world stage from your vantage point.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the French are going to make a point of stretching a few points they normally stress here, and they're going to take advantage of the situation. If I know Emmanuel Macron, the kind of information he's privy to and the kinds of things he tends to do on these kinds of occasions, I think he'll probably stick something into his speech at least to make a point about the divergences that he has with Donald Trump and especially on things like climate change, one of his favorite issue and multilateralism.
And, of course, this is a symbol of the success of multilateralism, that is to say when countries act together and can agree on a plan as they said 75 years ago, you can do all sorts of things. You can fight off any threat and you can reserve freedom. So, I think you might hear him say something along those lines. It's a tenuous relationship between Macron, and Trump.
[05:05:01] These two that we described as having a bromance a few years ago. It's gone pretty sour as far as the French are concerned, I think.
And one of the things that's interesting this year, although the French have an explanation for it. There's no big international ceremony this year, and they're kind of downplaying it. He is meeting with Donald Trump, and Macron and he's also met early this morning with Theresa May.
But, in fact, in previous years, all of the allies were invited to these ceremonies. The French say that's because of the fact this is not an even numbered year. It's not a 60 or 70. It's the 75th. So, nonetheless, it's something and another thing that's kind of interesting is bilateral taking place, making it very, very short, having a whole Trump visit is only about five hours ago. So, that's another difference from previous years. All in all, it
will be interesting to see how Macron does frame this and handle Mr. Trump.
BERMAN: We're looking at some of the pictures now. There are 12,000 attendees at this ceremony. We're told there are about 173 U.S. World War II veterans. Sixty-five of them were there on D-Day. So, just think of that as you're looking at faces in the crowd.
We've also seen some U.S. dignitaries, secretary of treasury, secretary of energy, Rick Perry, Donald Trump's children, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. were both there.
These are the faces of some of the U.S. veterans who are there, and again , we honor them today.
Melissa Bell, you have what might be the most unique perspective. You were off the coast on a ship right now, 7,000 ships took part in the landing that day, including 4,000 landing craft. You have the perspective they had when they landed that morning. I have to imagine it's just remarkable.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It is remarkable, John, this is one of the very amphibious trucks that landed on the Normandy beaches 75 years ago. And it is an extraordinary feat of engineering and functions quite well. It is quite extraordinary.
This over here is Gold Beach. This is where the British troops landed 75 years ago, first wave making their way up and of course with the positions of the Germans not having been damaged as heavily as they should have been by the bombarding campaign that preceded the amphibious landing, that first wave of men on some of the beaches, something like 90 percent of the first wave of men died, then and there. It's just an extraordinary thing to remember as we watch the faces of the veterans, all in their 90s who have made it and will be at the ceremony later on.
And you were mentioning a moment ago what we're likely to hear as the ceremony gets underway is the importance of the alliances that were built over the course of the post-war peace building process. That's what's being celebrated. When you're here at the beaches, you have an idea how the alliances were built in the end in the coordinated efforts to get troops on shore.
So many countries coming together, logistically, a very difficult feat to get the troops ashore. An artificial port had to be built at Gold Beach to allow them to get the amount of equipment they needed to sustain the troops once they were on land to carry out the operations successfully.
There's many different countries coming together to put together this incredibly ambitious air, land and sea operation. None has been more ambitious since, John, in days when the technology frankly was not as good as it has become. You get an idea of all the planning that had to go into it. Two years worth, and all of the sacrifices that were made on that day.
That's what we're remembering today. The ceremony that's about to get underway with the heads of state, and all of the beaches. I mean, they are all packed with people who have come in outfits of the day, and uniforms of the day, the veterans who have turned up. The younger generations who come with their families, with their equipment, amphibious trucks like this lovingly restored and pulled back every year to mark what went on, and most importantly, probably to keep it alive for the young to understand what went on, and how precious, how costly the piece that we have enjoyed for so long was built.
CAMEROTA: That is such an important point, Melissa. I mean, so much, the world has changed so much in the past 75 years with technology and beyond. But 75 years ago was not ancient history. Nazi Germany was not ancient history, that is on -- the faces of the men we see there, those 65 who were there that day, you know, storming the beach. They're alive. They're here, and I think that that's why obviously these commemorations are so important.
And, Jim, we understand they're running late now, 15 minutes, the ceremony is postponed. Do you know why?
[05:10:05] ACOSTA: Well, the president did leave Ireland, he was at his golf club overnight and he did leave Ireland a bit late, about 30 minutes late. So, they did make up some time as they were making their way over here. But they're still running -- the ceremony is running about 15 minutes late as a result of that, I suppose.
There will be some folks who might not like that and wonder why the president can't get here on time. It's an undertaking to move the president of the United States in that fashion. So, we think it's a logistical thing more than anything else.
But when he takes the stage, comes up to the microphone and delivers these remarks, this is going to be a pretty notable moment I think in the presidency of Donald J. Trump because so much of his presidency has been about America first, unilateralism, in some ways calling into question multinational and multilateral alliances, nations coming together to take on challenges like climate change and so on.
He has tried to shatter those things across the world, trade alliances and so on, in the form of a quest for more unilateralism, more nationalism. And so, the president today would be really giving remarks to a place that is about the ultimate show of global unity. Where else but Normandy have you ever seen humanity come together in such a way to make sure that dark forces did not destroy this planet.
And I think that the president is facing an enormous rhetorical challenge here because he has to, I think, thread a very important needle and acknowledge that history, and at the same time acknowledge the reality of that nation's coming together accomplish something rather extraordinary here on the beaches of Normandy which really mark the beginning of the turning of the tide during World War II. And the president in his remarks that we have seen so far is supposed to talk about what he's going to refer to as a cherished alliance that the United States has with its partners. I think that will be a notable moment.
We'll have to find out to see what's in the rest of this speech and whether he veers off those remarks as he sometimes tends to do. We saw earlier this morning when he left Ireland, one of the reasons he was running behind was talking to reporters, was talking about tariffs to Mexico. Did not spend as much time talking about Normandy, did not spent as much time talking about the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
But he'll make up for that in a few moments. But it's so important, John and Alisyn, what he's about to say in terms of the overall message that is conveyed by his presidency I think.
BERMAN: All right, guys. Stand by. We're going to come back to Normandy in just a moment, and as Jim was talking, we have seen some of the prepared remarks of the president. He does talk about the idea of unity and the collective forces of the world banding together. So, it does seem as if he is addressing that very special moment on this day.
CAMEROTA: We'll look forward to that speech.
Here at home, the potential tariff battle with Mexico is heating up. What Senate Republicans want before any tariffs would go into effect. That's next.
[05:17:46] CAMEROTA: We are watching the commemoration and all the ceremony in Normandy. President Trump is running a tad late but he will be on stage, we understand, in about 10 minutes. He'll be with President Macron of France. And as we understand it from some of the prepared remarks, they will be talking about the unity and the bond that these countries share as a result basically of what happened there 75 years ago.
And, John, we have been talking about how, I think, what is it, 65 of the men who stormed Normandy are there today.
BERMAN: That's right.
CAMEROTA: That's remarkable.
BERMAN: A hundred seventy-five U.S. veterans, 65 of them were there that day 75 years ago. These some of their faces you're looking at right now. And again, we really do honor them.
Leaders from around the world are there. American leaders from both parties, as they should be, are there. Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. speaker of the house, John Kerry, former U.S. secretary of state and war veteran from the Vietnam era. He is there, Kerry.
As he was arriving, he noted this is not a political day. It is not. It is an international day. It is a day to celebrate humanity. It's a day to celebrate what can be done if people come together. And we understand from some of the brief excerpts we have been given of President Trump's speech, that is the tone that he will try to set today as well.
CAMEROTA: All right. But as we watch the president and first family in Normandy, we also should need to talk about policy, because before he flew to France, the president did weigh in on the tariffs that he proposes against Mexico. They're set to go into effect in just days. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We told Mexico the tariffs go on, and I mean it too. I'm very happy about it. A lot of people, senators included, they have no idea what they're talking about with respect to tariffs. They have no -- absolutely, no idea.
We're the piggybank. The United States is the piggy bank, it has all the money that others want to take from us, but they're not taking it so easy anymore. It's a lot different.
(EDN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right. Joining us now, we have Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast", and Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House press secretary. Great to see you both of you.
So, Joe, connected to the tariffs is the news that 144,000 migrants showed up at the U.S. border, the southern border in May.
[05:20:04] That is a 32 percent increase over the month before. It's the highest monthly total in 13 years.
The president is clearly frustrated. Of course, he's frustrated that he hasn't been able to solve or even remedy in any way this problem since he promised that he would do so, and everything that he has tried has obviously not worked. In fact, the numbers have only gotten bigger.
So, now, he's going to try tariffs. He feels if he punishes Mexico, they will be able to do something in terms of controlling their own borders. But, as you know, Republicans back here at home have been speaking out about how opposed they are to this.
So, what do you think is going to happen today?
JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you're right, he wants to punish Mexico. Unfortunately, he'll be punishing American consumers equally or more. So, I think that's why Republican senators are up in arms.
I was struck by Ted Cruz earlier talking about how frustrated the president is. Remember, that's the same excuse Bill Barr used for why he obstructed justice. So, the president's frustration is what drives policy which is a little off.
But I think that we're seeing here is a little bit of political theater. I think the president, you know, when he says I want to do this and I really mean it, you get the sense that he knows there's a deal coming into place, and I think the Mexicans will makes some cosmetic adjustments, you've seen an uptick in arrests at the border. Republicans will be able to pound the table, particularly the ones in cycle that are running for reelection in 2020.
And my guess, it reminds me of the old drugs on the table, we have solved the drug problem because there's a bunch of drugs on the table, and the next day everybody goes back to selling drugs. I would be very surprised if the tariffs go into place.
The wild card on this is the one time where the erratic nature of the president can work for him. There have to be some people in Mexico saying he just might be crazy enough to do this.
CAMEROTA: But that's why they're in Washington. It did get their attention.
LOCKHART: Yes. So, my guess is that the politicians will work out a deal, as I said, it's theater, and Trump will be doing a victory lap next week.
BERMAN: We just saw the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife Brigitte, arrived at Normandy for the celebrations there of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and we will take you back there as this morning develops.
Live pictures right now of the French leader. He will be, in some ways, the master of ceremonies for the events today as it is in his country.
Jackie Kucinich, the U.S. Senate, Republicans in the U.S. Senate, many if not most of them -- there they are greeting the president. Let's hang on for a second.
CAMEROTA: We like studying the body language of this meeting, as you know.
BERMAN: Obviously we have talked about how during the first few months of President Trump's administration, Emmanuel Macron made great efforts to reach out, and they were chummy physically.
CAMEROTA: There was a handshake that was heard around the world, and lasted for a very long time.
BERMAN: This one was obviously much more brief, but I will say that today is a very different day. Today is not about either of these leaders. Today is about the moment, they could very well be that they have chosen just to respect that moment.
They will have a short bilateral meeting after the d-day commemoration where they will talk policy. We'll get a read out of what they discuss after. Jackie, I was asking about the tariffs. Republican senators, most
have said they oppose what the president is doing, threatening to vote against it. I want to know, last night I was on "AC360". We called all 53 Republican senators, their offices and tried to get one on the show.
CAMEROTA: They all rebuffed you?
BERMAN: Every single one of them said no. So, while there are all these Republican senators who say they are opposed to the president, not one wanted to come and say it out loud on TV.
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, right. I mean, that shocks me to my core that they don't want to put themselves out there like that. But, you know, right now, they are weighing the political impact they personally are going to feel if these tariffs go into place. With the actual policy and, you know, while they're saying you better not do this, the question is if these tariffs go into effect, will they do anything?
Congress could take back this authority, but it doesn't. And a vote against the president could imperil some of these members. Look at someone like Thom Tillis from North Carolina. Once you get the eye of the president on you and it isn't going well, that could create problems when it comes to reelection and the voters who do, in somewhere like North Carolina who may support the president, versus someone like Cory Gardener who's been more vocal about this.
So, how far will they go? I think they're just keeping their fingers crossed that this doesn't come to fruition, that these tariffs don't go into effect. But you can't blame them for wanting to meet with the president himself because his advisers, as we know, don't necessarily speak for the president.
[05:25:00] They need to hear it from him.
CAMEROTA: We're watching President Trump and President Macron stride side by side, up to the stage where they will both be speaking this morning about the bond that these countries share and about the history and about why this is so important on this 75th anniversary of D-Day.
So we will continue talking until they take the stage and begin speaking.
But, Joe, in terms of why the president is so frustrated, everything that he has tried, OK. I mean, so let's just remind ourselves, the declaring of the national emergency, the separating children from their parents at the border, threatening to flood sanctuary cities with migrants, the cutting off aid to Honduras and Guatemala, nothing has worked. Numbers have gotten bigger.
How do you solve this problem?
LOCKHART: Well, the tariffs will actually make it worse because it will negatively impact the economy in Mexico which has a knock on effect of both north and south. So, that will lead to a situation where more people come. Where we had probably the biggest crisis at the border which was around, you know, 2001, 2002. That was all around economic displacement. So, it's not going to work.
CAMEROTA: How did you solve it then?
LOCKHART: It was solved by an economic upturn. I mean, that's the answer.
So again, you know, in many ways, he created this crisis. Everything he's done has made it worse.
But one other point I make, as we're looking at these pictures, the old press secretary and looks at a day like this and thinks, you know, you're very frustrated with the president, here's a day that's about international, you don't get moments like this as president. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, others, Barack Obama, took advantage of this moment, and he decided to celebrate alliances by trashing our alliance to the south in Ireland before he went.
We're sitting here talking about tariffs, not about Normandy, and it's got to be -- to his staff, that's got to be very frustrated.
BERMAN: Well, I will note, he is on the ground now in Normandy, and what President Trump and President Macron are doing is greeting the veterans. Sixty-five of the Americans there are among those who landed on the beaches that day. They're all older than 90 at this point, obviously.
The U.S. World War II Museum notes that we lose 300 World War II veterans a day, so that is why these moments are so incredibly important.
CAMEROTA: Something rousing is happening there in the crowd, and you can see how excited the veterans are to be seeing both presidents.
BERMAN: And we should note that President Macron is going to honor five of the U.S. veterans there by name for their service that day for what they did for the world and very much to liberate France 75 years ago at this moment.
President saluting there at least one of the U.S. veterans there.
CAMEROTA: So we are waiting to hear their remarks, prepared remarks. We know a little bit about what they plan to say, but as Jim Acosta was pointing out, you know, President Trump can sometimes go off script. There are sometimes surprises and what Jim Bittermann was telling us is president macron, he suspects, will take this opportunity to sneak in and highlight some of the places with which he diverges from President Trump. He might mention climate change, multilateralism and the importance he sees in that.
BERMAN: I would be shocked if president Trump diverts from the text given the gravity of this moment, given the world is watching and based on the excerpts the White House released, he too is talking about the collective themes that will be very welcome to the audience there, the worldwide audience that is watching this morning.
CAMEROTA: They have been running about 15 minutes late and now they seem to be relishing this moment of greeting the veterans and why not.
BERMAN: As well they should.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I would love to -- I wish that we had a microphone on them, so we could hear what the veterans are saying in just those greetings.
BERMAN: All right. There are 12,000 people there as he said, so many veterans, leaders from around the world. This is what we're going to do. Take a quick break, bring you back to these ceremonies, back to the stage, 75 years to the day since the D-Day landings in Normandy.
Our special live coverage continues after this.